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Island Style Nightlife

Unlike the other islands, Oahu stays alive and awake well into the night, offering visitors myriad choices of how to spend a tropical evening. You can, of course, just find a beach or a garden for a romantic evening stroll, but you also have available the nightlife of a sophisticated city and the music and dance of the fascinating Polynesian culture.

In Honolulu, Waikiki is the center of the action. It’s a perennial nighttime parade along Kalakaua and Kuhio avenues, with visitors searching for restaurants, bars, clubs, and revues, or just wandering around in the glitzy spirit of it all. At Waikiki’s bars and clubs, you can listen to sweet slack-key guitar, dance to the best of Hawaiian contemporary music, or warble oldies but goodies in a karaoke bar.

Also, Waikiki is home to many performers such as Don Ho, Charo, and comedian Frank DeLima, as well as Polynesian revues that present the gentle sway of Hawaiian hula and the sexy staccato of the Tahitian shimmy.

Hula shows — covering a sliding scale of authentic to commercialized — are available free at a number of hotels and luaus, usually mass-produced affairs, but also great fun.

Cocktail and dinner cruises can take you into the sunset on a number of different types of vessels, from those which emphasize the sailing experience to those focusing on a deluxe dinner and show.

On the outer reaches of the island, after-dark action may be a little harder to find, but it’s there. Ask the locals where you can catch some good slack-key, do a country two-step, or watch a local hula halau’s ho ‘ike or performance.